Sigi Schmid reached back to his old school today, making UCLA senior forward David Estrada the Sounders first pick, and 11th overall, in today's MLS SuperDraft.
The bottom line is a player who began with great potential, which he has not yet reached. He set a UCLA freshman scoring record with 12 goals in 2006. He started 2007 as a preseason All-American, but ended up only as an All-Pac-10 honorable mention, a level he maintained in his junior season. He is coming off of a senior season in which he had three goals and seven assists in 20 games and made the All-Pac-10 first team.
We should be speaking with Estrada over the next half-hour or so ... assuming the Sounders can find him. Estrada was so certain he wouldn't go in the first round that he told The Californian.com that he wasn't going to watch on ESPN2.
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Meanwhile, here's a YouTube link (game action would be better, but the skills are impressive and music is nice); and an overview from ESPNsoccernet, which ranked him eighth among available forwards:
8. David Estrada, UCLA -- Many people seem to have forgotten how good Estrada was when he burst onto the scene in his walk-on freshman campaign. Estrada led UCLA with a school freshman-record 12 goals and was named almost everyone's national Freshman of the Year that season. A marked man since, Estrada has been given little room to work and not a lot of help up top the last few seasons. Surgery for a fractured metatarsal cost him the first half of the 2007 season. Fully healthy in 2009, Estrada picked up his fourth career Pac-10 nod with a first-team honor on the strength of his three goals and seven assists. A former U.S. U-18 with terrific feet, vision and ball skill, Estrada has always been a combination striker who flourishes in a good partnership. Estrada leaves UCLA with 22 goals and 14 assists in four seasons.